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Sorely Disappointed

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Photo: Ian Britton

Ever since the famous “Yes, one can sprain one’s ankle by simply getting out of a chair” incident during one long ago summer of my childhood, the S.O.P. has been: Need to Know. As in, only the person driving needs to know where we will be going at any given time. No point in telling the natives in case plans change. Less fallout.

I adopted the same rule once it became clear that Beernut didn’t do very well with change.

Sometimes, however, plans are shared with the kids. Such as this morning’s Fall Festival in Peach’s classroom. In my defense, I would have opted not to mention anything to him about it as the nature of my work means that unforeseen issues arise and change my plans quite frequently. However, the teachers made a very big deal about the Festival and Peach insisted on knowing if I was planning to attend.

I was. I was planning to attend. I had made arrangements to be there. And then…

Just after breakfast, Beernut, who was in the midst of one of his “episodes,” ran to the bathroom where his breakfast made a reappearance.

And in an instant, plans changed. Beernut was going to be home for the day and Mommy was not going to be available for the Fall Festival.

Poor Peach. Just erupted in heaving sobs. And though no mother enjoys hearing her child cry, I couldn’t help but think to myself that disappointments are a part of life. And while I can try to lessen their frequency in the lives of my children, I would be doing them a great disservice if they grew up without learning how to handle them.

So to my little Peach — Mommy is sorry that she missed out on what was to be a fun morning. We will, God-willing, have many more fun opportunities. And in the meantime, I look forward to hearing all about the Festival.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ilana permalink
    Wednesday, 17 November 2010 3:23 pm

    It is so hard to see our children in pain of any kind, including disappointment. We want to fix it. But we would be doing them a disservice if we did too much fixing. I totally agree that disappointment is part of life and that while we try to avoid it, kids do need to face disappointment now and then.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 8:16 pm

      Exactly. It is hard to watch. But we all know adults whose parents clearly did not prepare them for life’s disappointments.

      I’ll be making other parenting mistakes.

  2. Wednesday, 17 November 2010 8:21 pm

    What a bummer. But I totally agree – sometimes plans DO change and it’s okay to work on getting used to it on the small things, right? (even if they don’t seem small to the small people.)

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 8:20 pm

      Precisely. I will say that Beernut has the greatest difficulty with this, but that is a hallmark of Asperger’s.

      And I really was the only parent not in attendance. Peach was totally fine when I saw him later in the afternoon. But I’m not in any of the pictures…

  3. Thursday, 18 November 2010 1:41 pm

    You need to strike a good balance. When I was growing up, the universe revolved around me and Mom mad sure that my routine was not disturbed. A certain amount of routine is good, but I had some catching up to do in order to learn that things change and the world is not going to explode because the routine gets disrupted. I’m pretty much caught up in my mid 30’s, but could still roll with the punches a little better.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 8:21 pm

      Wow. What a shock that must have been — to discover that you aren’t the center of the universe. I know that your mom did it out of love. Fortunately, you did catch up to the rest of us. Good lesson, though.

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